Types of Lighting in Retail

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is used to highlight specific products or key areas, indicating their importance and drawing the eye. Accent lighting helps to guide customers to key products or areas by increasing their visibility or accentuating them.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is used to provide light for a specific task or purpose. This includes lighting up the register, where transactions will happen; the fitting rooms, where people will be trying on and evaluating clothes; and your office space, where you fill out paperwork and work each day. Task lighting is used as a supplemental light source anywhere tasks are being done.

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is the main lighting source for your store. It is the backdrop on which you will layer other kinds of lighting and creates a comfortable environment for customers to explore your space. Ambient lighting should reach every corner of your store.

Decorative lighting

Decorative lighting is mainly used to enhance the look and feel of a space. Within store environments, it does this by creating an atmosphere which reflects seasonal trends, brand identities and customer preferences through the use of things such as festive lights and illuminated signage.

Light Coverage

To ensure that your space will look great , you will want to go back to your total lumens.

The Lighting Research Center recommends that retail stores aim for an ambient light measurement of 1.5 to 2.5 lumens per cubic foot. To calculate this, you first need to calculate the cubic area of your retail space, using this formula: Width x Length x Height of your sales floor = Total Cubic Area.

Then, multiply that total by 1.5-2.5 to get an estimate of appropriate lumens for the space.

After you figure up the total lumens needed to light the space, add up the total lumens provided by the bulbs in your lighting plan. Does the total number of lumens in your plan come close to the lumens needed per your cubic foot formula? If it’s close, then you’re on track. If your plan’s total lumens is greater, you can pare back lighting in some areas. If it’s lower than the recommended amount, you may need to fill in some gaps with more ambient lighting.

Why Is Lighting So Important In Retail Environments?

There has been a lot of research carried out into the importance of lighting in retail environments and on the impact it has on the behaviours and moods of shoppers. For example, a study by the Lighting Laboratory at Sweden’s Royal Institute of Technology revealed that:

Consumers generally prefer warm lighting and moderate levels of brightness over cold, harsh lighting.

Brighter lighting systems are more effective when used within shop windows as they attract the attention of passers-by.

Vertical lighting fixtures are more effective than horizontal ones when helping to ensure that products stand out from their immediate surroundings.

A variety of different lighting systems are the most visually appealing and stimulating when used in conjunction with one another as our eyes are naturally drawn to areas of contrast.

Altering the colour temperature and intensity of retail lighting according to the time of day ensures that customers feel more comfortable when browsing.

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